Устойчивость к противомикробным препаратам

FAO highlights economic concerns related to foodborne antimicrobial resistance


Antimicrobials are a common treatment for infections in humans, animals and plants. Paradoxically, their use also drives the emergence of resistant organisms, making infections more difficult to treat. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has released a publication highlighting the economic consequences associated with the emergence and transmission of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in foods.  


“Foodborne antimicrobial resistance increases costs of both health care and food production,” said Jeffrey LeJeune, FAO Food Safety Officer. He noted that the worldwide loss of the effectiveness of antimicrobials can be understood as a “tragedy of the commons”, as the use of antimicrobials may benefit an individual but can cause negative impacts on society as a whole. These societal consequences include higher public and private health costs associated with AMR infections and potentially harmful levels of antimicrobial residues in food. He also emphasized that the social costs associated with AMR are not fully reflected in the price paid for antimicrobials or food.  


Diletta Topazio, FAO Food Systems and Food Safety Division Economist, explained that the frequency and duration of illness caused by foodborne AMR increases the economic burden on public health through productivity losses and premature deaths. For example, “The estimated economic value of premature death due to each non-Typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) case is USD 10 million. Each year, over 5 000 people worldwide lose their lives due to NTS infections that are resistant to antimicrobials. In 2019, this equated to a burden of USD 50 billion,“ said Topazio. The economic burden of foodborne AMR is substantial, considering that Salmonella is one of over 30 different pathogens causing antimicrobial-resistant foodborne diseases.  


It is crucial to recognize that foodborne antimicrobial resistance not only poses a threat to people, animals, plants and sustainable food systems, but it also jeopardizes future economic growth and the well-being of our planet,” said LeJeune 


The publication highlights the need for effective policies and suggests options countries can consider to address this issue. For example, governments may develop and promote policies that minimize and control AMR in agrifood systems, strengthen food control systems, ensure food producers who adopt antimicrobial use stewardship practices are championed, collect, analyze, and share data on AMR in food products as part of an integrated surveillance system. 


Please read the publication here: Foodborne antimicrobial resistance (AMR): an economic concern (fao.org)


Photo credit © FAO/G. Napolitano

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